Be Light with Rocky Russo
Very excited to release this episode with my friend, Rocky Russo – a warm soul shining light into the the world.
In this episode Rocky and I traverse a range of topics related to self-love, wellness, coaching and community. He shares his powerful story that led him to walk away from a previous life, disconnect for several years, and then reintegrate back into society with clarity on a higher purpose.
I’m inspired by Rocky’s journey and courage to take big risks, which helped him redefine himself, and then go on to realize amazing things. He is truly living life on his terms.
“Real lesson of trust was me recognizing that the right people will show up during the right times to help.”
- Whole Fitness
- C.R.A.V.E. Retreats
- Antidote Podcast
- The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (book)
[00:00:00] Ali: Welcome back folks. I have a special friend, Mr. Rocky Russo with us today. Rocky is actually a friend of several years. He was a client at first and I just remember meeting you. Your soul was so warm, which I shared with you recently on your podcast. And aside from just getting current on what's going on with you, I'm interested to learn a little bit more about your story, brother. So how would you like to introduce yourself today?
[00:00:32] Rocky: Thanks, Ali. Thanks for having me, man. The feeling is mutual brother, and it's been an awesome journey just knowing you professionally and then to witness you and your walk. And thanks for having me on, bro. Um, introducing myself, man, I can be introduced as a coach, as an entrepreneur, as a brother, as a son, as a friend. And all of those don't really do justice to who I am because hopefully, you know, as what I consider myself to be as, as an empowerment and intentional living coach, more importantly is how I do anything, rather than all the different hats that I wear.
So to answer your question and add a layer to it, I suppose is, any of those hats, I, I really do my best to infuse my personal life mission into, which is to be light. I wanna infuse lightness anywhere I go and that warmth that you've spoken about is a part of that, is to show up with intention, as a light and in lightness to let anyone and any project that I'm a part of feel hopefully lighter, brighter, more filled up with love.
[00:01:48] Ali: Mmm. Aw man, that lands. So is there a correlation for you between light and love?
[00:01:56] Rocky: Yeah, there certainly is, man, and I think in this day and age, it's gotten into its own airy fairy, like light and love, you know, and that's all well, nothing against that. But I'm intentional about the word LIGHT because there are many ways to approach self-love. And for me, my whole life mission is to be an infinite flow of light shining a path to self-love. And when I say it all the way out that way, and if you see any of my posts and any of my sign offs, I'm pretty much always saying, be light, be light. And that's what that all comes down, boils down to.
But for me, it is the lightness of love. But specifically as the way I put it with my clients, a lot of times it's like I'm rarely in front of you pulling you. I'm rarely behind you pushing you, but the majority of the time, I'm next to you with a flashlight. And sometimes I'm guiding, I'm showing like, hey, there's the path, there's the path forward. And other times I'm like shining at the shit we don't wanna look at and saying, hey, what about that over there? So, light is, multifaceted, but always correlated with love. Yeah.
[00:03:11] Ali: Mmm. Yeah, man, I feel that from you. That's so cool too. You're like literally living that. Right before we hit record, there was this light coming in through your windows and you're in beautiful Hawaii right now, which we'll talk about in a bit, but I was just like, oh my gosh. This almost feels like a divine experience we're about to get into. And so dude LIGHT that word is totally you, man. Yeah, totally you. Oh, I love that.
Okay, so I wanna know a little bit about your journey to getting into this. So you dropped some, some cool stuff around your life mission and then this beautiful understanding around light and love and how you coach others. So take us back. Give us the version of sort of how you led up to this mission that you're currently pursuing and then anything that feels relevant to that.
[00:04:09] Rocky: Cool, bro. Yeah. Absolutely. I was born May 29th, eight pounds, four ounces, and I took my first full solid . Yeah, no. We'll fast forward to about the time that I, I was recently writing. I've been getting back into some of my long form copy lately. I love to write, but, you know, as an entrepreneur, sometimes it's just like, I got a million things to do, when am I gonna write? You know? But, um, it's been feeling really authentic. And it might be just the winter season, I'm not sure.
But, I was recapping this question actually and talking about my journey as of the last decade or so. And if you were to take a snapshot of this guy named Rocky like 10 years ago, even less like eight years ago, there would've been scraps of what you see today, but it was certainly just this slingshot of having to go through what I did to become who I am today. And I say that with a grain of salt because as I'll unpack it, there's not any like crazy hardships. But it's all relative and we're all on the journey, right?
So now as an entrepreneur, as an adventure, I live half the year off the grid in Hawaii in a house that I built with my bare hands, and I've taken wood shop like twice in my life and built skateboard ramps before that, you know. It was certainly an adventure that I didn't even realize what the, the chapters of, of it would be or the lessons that were in store for me. So I'm happy to unpack more of that, but what led me to all that was really feeling the restriction of being so wrapped into what society wanted for me. Hmm. Yep.
So if you go back eight years or so, I was engaged to be married to a supermodel, beautiful girl and I was climbing the ranks of a big box gym. I was basically the highest level that I could be at while still keeping and maintaining the fitness in my title, which was mandatory for me, um, coaching, training trainers, and managing budgets and goals and all this. And I realized that I'm just like falling so far outta love with everything I was once passionate about.
So from the fiance that I had that no longer looked anything like the love that I wanted to actually prescribe to for the rest of my life. And then looking at the job and the amount of people that I was once able to help and now thinking like every time I'm walking into my boss's door, I'm closing it behind me cuz I know we're just going to be getting into a verbal battle and coming home each night just drained. Yeah. And this was the life that society says, go live it. You're gonna be happy. No way. Mm-hmm. So I finally hit a breaking point. It was, um, 2014. I was, um, the youngest, highest paid person in the fitness world of this company. Engaged to be married and finally just like I'm done. And I, uh, quit my job, quit my wife, moved to Costa Rica,
And that was the start of it, man. That was the start of me just falling back in love with myself, and it started with self-inquiry. And I've since adopted this whole self-care phases that I'm happy to unpack with you a little bit more, but I didn't know I was living it at the time. But that started what I call my four year monk ship. So for the next like four years, I, I happily was just dating me. I would like hang out with girls and, and do all that and it'd be fun, but like, if they even used the word date, it'd be like, I'm outta here. Mm-hmm. Because I just needed nothing that looked like that. I was just more interested in getting to know myself again and, and like such an intimate level.
So that was, that was certainly a fun period of time and one that I think like many people in the, in the healing or helping world, get caught up in. They can kind of just like, here's where I need to stay, or, hey, I'm gonna help you, you should come do this. And it's reality. It's like, this is great to visit, but if you can integrate that and then rejoin life and on your own terms, that's where I think the sweet spot really is. That's where the butter is and that's what, that's what I aim to do now in my coaching and any projects that I do.
[00:08:56] Ali: Hmm. Wow. Okay. This is big. So there's all types of questions I have to control within my mind right now, but the things that I wanna point out that I think is massive, part of your story, and I appreciate you sharing, is this understanding, this awareness of self love. You also mentioned self-care, and then my filter on these words and where they go is showing up as our authentic selves.
So how do we really wanna step out into the world? Which is a powerful thing, man, because when I look around, I don't think many people are stepping out into the world exactly as they are, nor are they really focusing on self-love, which you took four years to do, man. Props, because a lot of us are just running through the motions, doing the things that others want, seeking external validation instead of really finding it within.
And that's, that has to be part of your story, man. The other thing that I have to ask or at least confirm is you just blazed through this, you built that house that we're looking at right now?
[00:10:06] Rocky: This house, no. I'm back in California right now.
[00:10:08] Ali: Oh, you're back in Cali. Okay, cool.
[00:10:10] Rocky: Yeah. For those listening, there's a stuffed sloth behind me, not real. There's a sitar over here. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:10:20] Ali: Well, either way I saw that last time we connected. So you took on a project to build a house yourself?
[00:10:28] Rocky: Yeah, man.
[00:10:29] Ali: That is amazing, dude. How long did that take?
[00:10:32] Rocky: It's still like a work in progress, but it's livable and when I'm not there it's being rented out. If somebody wants to stay in my house, they totally can. It's on Airbnb, but it's, it's technically a tiny home. Let's see, 16 by 12 on the inside and then I've got a 10 foot deck that wraps around. So I think it's like 450 square feet of kind of like living space.
Sweet. Yeah. How long has it taken so far? We broke ground, let's see, we sent the big tractor back there to like flatten the land out further, November, 2020. I started laying lumber, uh, February 21 and it was to the point of being able to be rented out um, mid-summer 2022, so I guess, wow, like a year and a half to, to get it up and good enough to, to stand behind and say someone else can come stay here.
[00:11:32] Ali: That is legit. Dude. It's so, it's so cool. I'm having these conversations with my children about why we do things, why we work and why we exchange money. And part of this is like, hey, we have this home, we had to pay for this home. And they're like, oh cool. And I'm like, but what if we didn't pay for it? What would we do? And they're like, build it. I'm like, yeah. And that's hard. So I really honor anyone at any scale. So you should be super proud of that achievement, that just getting your hands dirty or even using resources and other people to bring a project like that to life. Cuz even a tiny home is not a simple project.
[00:12:14] Rocky: No, definitely not, dude. I learned so much doing that. And the obvious stuff about like contracting and plumbing and, and solar and all of that is definitely learning lessons. Mm-hmm. But honestly Ali, I'd say the biggest lesson and one that I'm always and continuously working to integrate in every capacity is the lesson of trust. Mmm. Is, is like recognizing that I'm gonna go spend thousands of dollars on a project that I'm personally not equipped to do, Mm-hmm, but I trust that the right people will show up during the right times to really help me get it done. And I'm not going to starve. I'm not going to be without a home.
I'm, I'm gonna be safe from the rain. It rains a lot over there, mm-hmm. Um, and it's the coolest thing, bro. Every time there was a major project that needed to be done, like laying the floor, which needs to be very level, you know, we gotta set the foundation the right way. Just one uncle would show up that has either a contractor or just like the most legit handyman's, like, oh yeah, I heard you building up here. What do we got? And it's like, glad you're here, man. Awesome.
The day we had to frame, there's a term in Hawaii called Malama and it kind of loosely translates to take care of. There were so many days where just the boys would show up in Malama and just like, what do we need? And, and now I'm just basically a part of the crew, like, what do you need from me? We need these kind of nails. We're out of this. And it's like, whatever you need, you're building me a house, tell me what you need. Just so many amazing, awesome memories. Hilina'i is the term it means divine trust. And to just watch that unfold in front of me there's so many miracles just in the whole making of that and, and letting that project come to life.
[00:14:09] Ali: For sure man. That sounds awesome. That's another huge word too, or at least it's been a huge word for me recently, is trust and reevaluating what that means in relationships, in family, in work. I think that it's so easy to just drop that word, but like trust man, it's a deep word that you just shared some awesome context around that means a lot. Like I trust that someone's gonna show up and then I'm going to show up in similar ways. So that is cool man.
Alright, well I'll stay too distracted on that. I want to get a little bit back into your story. So you shared a little bit about the origins and then finding self in a way and really getting back to self-love. Then what happened? Did you get deeper into the fitness world before you started the empowerment coaching? Or no? Did you take a break Like you said?
[00:15:01] Rocky: You know, around that time after what I consider my four year monk ship is when I came back and decided like, okay, this is fun and I do want to participate as a human in society in some capacity. I just need it to be on my terms. Mm-hmm. Honestly, that's when angels, like you started showing up in my life. And, and I say that with full sincerity because I had no fucking clue about how to start any kind of like online business. And then I met Kyle through the yoga world and you know, a lot happened through the yoga world. A lot of gifts, a lot of people just like showing up to just kind of like extend a hand or an olive branch.
And then from there there's just, that community is so strong about healing and helping and meeting you where you're at. Um, so that was a, a big piece of it for me was like, okay, I'm gonna start taking my skills and what I've learned, in my monk ship and from society before, and then see what kind of systems I can create to bring it back out into the world.
And I'd been doing that to some capacity still as a personal trainer. Like, I wasn't completely just in nature, just, you know, sleeping in rivers and stuff. I would take every opportunity I could to go be in nature, which is pretty much like a daily thing. Um, but I'd still have clients and stuff like that.
But, but I was traveling a lot. I'd spent, half a year in New Zealand and, uh, over in Bali. A lot of time up actually in, in BC parts of Canada. So I guess to answer your question though, is to take then that, integrate it back into, into life so that I could participate, make a living on my terms. Mm-hmm and feel like I was in service again. I have an article about it on one of my websites. I can link to it if you want, but I called it the Shift. And I attribute a lot of the coaching work that I had at the time from my sister, Bethany, whose land is the land that I now live on in Hawaii.
So, Wow. Yeah, that's the amount of love in malama that I've been subject to and accustomed to now and continue to try to like bring out into the world is quite literally these close friends of mine I met actually in the yoga world as well. I'd be out there helping them on their property so much they're like, brother, you know, we got like two more acres back there. You wanna just build a house? Oh, nice. And it's like a no-brainer.
I worked with her for a long time and she was my coach and she's just like, I'd say this about Bethany that you could look into her eyes and just gain five years of your life back. She's that type of a healer. Wow. So yeah, I think a, a lot of experiencing that work and then integrating what I was going through helped me to start really articulating how I could approach the world in a way that was unique, authentically mine, and could really make a difference.
[00:18:19] Ali: Mmm. So, dude, wow. Well, I honor you for creating space for that because again, I don't think these things are easy, and it sounds like a transition that in many ways you sort of surrendered to and let take place with, with the help of others. Going back to the trust and man, okay, so then let's fast forward. You've got different things going on today. I feel like I want to dabble into a bit of all of them. And so maybe instead of making any assumptions, you can bring us into what is in focus right now. What are you doing now that you're showing up the way you want, show up.
[00:19:04] Rocky: Yeah, man, thank you. Let's fast forward, it's not a big leap. Since I started that mission, certainly there have been, as any entrepreneurial attest to, like, there's projects that I've stood behind. Like, this is the best and then it's like, right, okay, well, well, honestly, maybe not. Yeah. Movie, not, yeah. Right. So, um, but, you know, but we're always trying, and, and as I, as I speak to, like even some of my business consulting clients and stuff, it's just like, as long as you're falling forward, we're making progress, we're still moving forward. Mm-hmm. Yeah.
Uh, you know, body in motion stays in motion. A body at rest decays. Mm-hmm. There is no staying still. So, for me, if, if I wanna fast forward to what's in focus now, honestly, my word for this upcoming year and then this past, like, I don't know. 6, 8, 10 months, year maybe is community. Hmm. Community, like 110% over and over again. You can ask any one of my clients that the term I use most frequently, uh, is we're all just walking each other home.
[00:20:13] Ali: Yeah. I love that, that line. Okay. Tell us more. What does community mean to you? Why is it your word?
[00:20:19] Rocky: So I reference this book often by Charles Eisenstein. It's called, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. It's a great title and I love poetry. The first time I read it, it's like, ooh, is this gonna be like beautiful poetry? And it's like, it's really not. He's a great philosopher and it kind of reads more like a blueprint for the new world. And I reference it right now because the new the new Earthway showers and the people really committed to living the change that we're all a part of, whether we like it or not.
I mean, if the past few years hasn't shaken us up to realize nothing is certain, then I don't know what's gonna wake people up. But I, I think a lot of people are truly waking up right now to realize, I don't have to do the things that I once did or what my family told me I had to do, or, or what society decided I had to do.
So community to me means I want those people to know that they're not forgotten and that there is a home for them and that their gifts matter and I'm really curious about them. So what I've done in community and in the online space is, uh, we do group coaching calls, group coaching programs that range. There's kinda like three signature programs that we have.
But in 2023 we've actually adopted an even easier olive branch that opens the doors up to pretty much like, if, if you want to belong, then come on in. If you want to find a tribe, we're here for you. And it's a space to get loved up on and to love because there is no pride, ego takes such a backseat. I'm curious about you, so therefore I honor your ego. But if you're leading from that space, you're quickly gonna find the exit door. Mmm, yep.
So that's kinda it in a nutshell. And I can unpack it more and detail it out. But the bottom line is community through coaching. And that's kind of become our tagline. It's more than coaching it's community cause we're all just taking care of each other. And as I develop these different programs with people and look at their gift and help them bring, I I, one of my gifts is really helping people bring the ether of their dreams and turn it into something tangible that can be in service to this world.
It's such an honor for me as a coach to A, to learn so much cuz I'm like helping them bring this out. But then to see it take fruition and for them to stand behind, like, here's who I am, here's like what I love, and here it is in this packaged course or this program, or whatever it may be. So, all of that, um, it's, it's pretty radical man. It's, it's certainly in focus and what's lighting me up.
[00:23:16] Ali: Mmm, man, that sounds radical. It sounds powerful. I wanna sit with that for a second. That phrase, I think we need to say it again. We're all just walking each other home.
That phrase gives me goosebumps when I hear it said with purpose like you just did. And it can kind of assume that, which we talked about earlier, that we're all not home. We're in other worlds that are conflicted with our values or who we are at our core, which is why I think that type of community is powerful, man. So thank you for bringing that to the world. And also you mentioned ego, which is something I've been paying a lot of attention to recently.
I just had another buddy on where we talked about how ego comes up and actually fades in nature. If you create space to just be with the earth and get out of your surroundings, your distractions, your notifications. We realized together like, oh yeah, when we're immersed in nature, my buddy Chris, there's just so much less of that little egotistical dude or gal on your shoulder just chirping in your ear, you know?
And I love that you've blended that into your community and the way that you're serving and coaching and helping others because, you know, ego has its place. I think that. I also think that a lot of times we get carried away listening to it, including myself, like I'm, I'm not egoless. Right? It comes up and then I have to like shush it or sometimes pay attention to what it's really saying.
So that's pretty cool, man, that it sounds like you're building something where it's just going to naturally filter people out who are too, maybe too in tune with the ego and still driven by it in ways.
[00:25:14] Rocky: It's interesting, Ali. It's like, yeah, there's a little bit of that. People will come and if the vibe is off, it's, it's seen pretty quickly. But for the most part, what I've seen is, a lot of people don't know. They don't know that frequency yet, or they've experienced it. And it's gotten them curious, curious enough to, to come try something out or to join. And then once they're there, it's like we don't know. We only know what we know until we know something else, right? Mm-hmm. And so to me, I have, so many different tendrils out in the world because I wear so many hats and I've worked with business coaches plenty and stuff, and it's like, oh, you know, the riches are in the niches, like, niche down.
Find something that like, you can drive home and really stand behind. And that's all good and well, but what if I help people to build a bridge from their niche? And recognize that that's, that's all accepted here and no, I can't be everything to everyone. Mm-hmm, but so often for me, I, I know that fitness is a great key that opens a door to so much more. And so a lot of people will knock on our metaphorical door wanting fitness and once they're in, they're just like, oh, that was like the, the code that I was picking up on. It was like, I've only known how to take care of myself through the lens of fitness, but in reality that was a cry from my soul to just take care of myself more.
Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Now that I'm surrounded in, in a part of a community where that's the emphasis, that's the focus. It's interesting to me that's like all of the people who start for fitness. Sometimes we'll be wrapping up a session. Well, oh, how's your fitness, by the way? And it's not to like discredit it, it will be in focus if it needs to be, but so often it's more of like, if your fitness was not a priority, why I, I'm more curious about that. Like what part of you is still unhealed or needs tending to that knows if my like inner child or some old trauma was taken care of, then I could let the natural state of abundance and wellness flow freely and I would take care of myself and my fitness would be taken care of. Mm-hmm. So I'm more interested in that.
[00:27:46] Ali: Mmm. Yeah. Okay. I see. Yeah, so that is super fascinating. It also gets deeper into something I want to bring up that we were actually talking about before we hit record. And that's that fitness, health, wellness, like these words can start to blend. And some people think it's one thing like exercising just as an example, and other people could have a whole different interpretation of what wellness is or means.
And working out is just a small subset of that, right. Just a piece of that pie. What you and I were jamming on earlier though, is the reality of feeling whole, feeling healthy so that you can do other things. I mentioned a quote, _A healthy man wants a thousand things. A sick man wants one thing._ And as you just came out of a little illness and I shared my story with Covid months ago, they're so true. When you're not well, when I'm not, well, I'm not thinking about anything else.
And so this is really interesting because at the surface level or if you just like take a look at what's going on, so many people are not physically fit or well, in other words, they neglect this. So back to your point, to sort of dissect that. Like why? If we know that we need this virtually all of us to be better and to go do other things, to heal, et cetera, why do so many people neglect it? Man.
And you know the story I've been hearing from a lot of people, especially intelligent people, I know I should do that. I know I should walk, I know I should go to the gym. I know I should eat better. So then either your subconscious programming or your conditioning has just enabled you to not do that for some benefit that you get, or you're just sort of, uh, outthinking it and just being like, yeah, whatever. And you, and maybe you haven't really felt the gravity of what I mentioned earlier, where it's like when you're sick, like there's nothing else that matters.
But what do you think about that? I wanna throw that back at you. Because you have a background in fitness and you also have a really nice understanding of total wellness from different facets. Why do you think so many people neglect their health?
[00:30:08] Rocky: You know, I'm hesitant to use the word trauma because it's almost becoming trendy and I hate that because...
[00:30:17] Ali: Yeah, I feel you. Yep.
[00:30:18] Rocky: Yeah. So some people really have experienced deep traumas. Mm-hmm. And so the fact that it's becoming, like everybody's got a trauma these days I'm not like a big fan of, but, with that said, there's often something that we unpack at some point in our coaching journey that is, is something that was undealt with. Yeah.
Whether it's from childhood or from midlife or even just like some old programming, you know, just like a, a story that you've been telling for too long. It's often rooted in, in something like that. And, and I, I talk about tap roots. Once we find the tap root of why your flower's not blooming, we can pull that out and then we can actually like, take care of you, the plant and tend to your garden properly. But as long as there's these weeds in there, then it's really gonna be very difficult for us to grow.
My company is called Whole Fitness because it's meant to be that holistic look at your entire self, your, your entire fitness, and that stems far beyond what happens in the gym or what you're putting into your mouth.
I kept finding as a personal trainer back in the day that some of the best results that I'd have with clients are the, the ones that sometimes we would never hit the floor. We would show up. I could tell that they're carrying a heavy load and we would just go talk in the spin room and sometimes cry and just hug or whatever.
And that was the genesis to me realizing, okay, there's a hell of a lot more to just like giving someone the best fitness program. I've got more acronyms from personal training certifications and experience, and like my master's degree. I can give someone a great fitness program that I know will help them thrive. But if there's still blockages between them and their health, then the fitness program, the nutrition program, the meditation, the reiki, doesn't matter. Like let's find out what's blocking you from that. Mm-hmm.
So I use the flashlight analogy again. We can come back to being light. For me to be light is to actually then flash my light on that and say, bro, what is that? Do you wanna look at that? Do you wanna keep living with that? Do you wanna keep carrying that shit? Mm-hmm, or is it time to let it go?
What I'm saying right now it sounds confrontational and sometimes it has to be that way, but a lot of times it comes from just so much compassion, you know. Back to where all just walking each other home. I'm not abandoning my post next to you because you hired me to help you. And I would do it anyways. I want you to get rid of the shit that you're carrying because selfishly I wanna know what kind of gifts you have and if as long as you're carrying all this other crap, you can't fully express those gifts.
[00:33:12] Ali: Yeah, that's real. Wow. Thank you for that. I think there's so much wisdom in that and just understanding that there's usually something deeper. And I felt that, dude, I felt your energy when you're like, yo, what is that? Like, and I'm laughing because I saw some of your gift come out in that, which is really cool dude. Because my experience with different coaches over different years for different things is that the ones that have impacted me the most are the ones that talk the least, but when they talk, it's profound and it's usually in the form of a question.
To build on that, they ask questions I don't normally want to answer, which makes me really think and then feel something, right. And then finally they are willing to do what you said. They're willing to hold you accountable. They're not scared to call you out in a healthy way, in a firm way where there's support. And that's exactly how I aspire to coach people in my life, is that, doing these things, being a guide, being a support system, and man, I felt that. So thank you for giving us a little sneak peek of how, how you interact with people.
[00:34:24] Rocky: Of course, bro. Yeah. You know, coaching's generally described as a dance and it, it totally is because there's take and give and honestly, like, I try not to hang up a coaching call feeling friction, but sometimes it's like friction is needed for someone to get uncomfortable enough to really take the next step that they need to, cuz they've been stuck in whatever reality for just too long.
[00:34:53] Ali: I agree with that wholehearted.
[00:34:54] Rocky: Tough love. You know, me and, and I like to approach things from a space of, of love, from compassion. Of understanding that nobody wants to be in the shit when they're in the shit. Mm-hmm, you know? But, um, if we need to go there, then yeah, we gotta go. We gotta go there.
[00:35:14] Ali: Absolutely. That's where the work is done. Yeah. As we shift into something that's part of this world, I understand that you've hosted retreats. Yeah. Yeah. Is there anything there that, that you wanted to share? Because my interest was peaked when I was checking out some of your retreat stuff and yeah, what's good with that?
[00:35:38] Rocky: I say that podcasting is my antidote to coaching. And then retreats are my antidote to the online world.
[00:35:51] Ali: Oh, yes. All right, let's go. Keep going.
[00:35:54] Rocky: So, you asked about the retreats and I could focus just on me and how much joy I get out of 'em, but in reality it's still a selfless plight to just bring more of, people's gifts out into the world. I created my retreat company, it's called Crave, it stands for Community, Reverence, Awareness, Vulnerability, Empowerment. Hmm. My tagline is Nourish Your Purpose. It actually finally kind of like crystallized, in grad school when I was creating my capstone project and I was working with my dean who just loved this idea.
I had been marinating on it for quite some time, but it hadn't fully grounded yet in the way that it has since, which was a three-part experience. Crave happens in three parts. First, it's do the work before you arrive, and that's in the form of building your lens. And your lens is your life blueprint, which consists of your core values, your life mission, and your life vision.
Do the work before you arrive so you know what the lens is that you're looking through while you're on this experience. You could go to Costa Rica, you could go to Hawaii, you could go all these great places. You could go to a fucking motel six. It doesn't really matter. The point is you're getting out of your normal routine, right? Yeah. Hopefully into nature. I don't know if Motel Six would really work as well, but the point is you're getting outta your routine, right? So we've gone to some amazing places, Big Bear, Costa Rica, Tahoe.
It's become more and more just Hawaii, lately. That's been like our last few. We've got a Bali in the works, but, while you're at the retreat, while you're in the retreat space, our invitation to you is to go through everything that we are gonna give to you, all the, the teachings, all the different lessons and modules. It's not necessarily just a sweet vacation in paradise. Come ready to do some work. Mm-hmm. We might do a lesson on, on breath work, we might do multiple different types of movement practices, meditation styles, different learning modules.
We did this awesome module once on the, the lost art of touch because it seems like these days if you touch somebody, you're either trying to fuck 'em or fight 'em. Yeah. Right. And so we had this whole module that went from like, can we just like touch each other? And we just paired everybody up and it would be a matter of like, can you dance without a leader?
Mm-hmm. And how fast it was that somebody started to take over and start leading. And then can you wrestle without fighting? You know? And it, and it turned into just like a really kind of cool, like, contact dance, capoeira kind of a fluid art. But the point is like when, you integrate all that and you take away everything from it, it's asking the question, does this serve my life blueprint?
Mm-hmm. So now if I take this back and part three of the retreat experience is 40 days of follow up coaching. Mm-hmm. Everybody after the retreat, gets to work with myself or one of the other coaches, on the retreat to integrate their experience. And the main question is,_ What from the retreat did you learn or take away that can best serve your higher self?_
So that higher self that you've done the work to uncover in your life blueprint, your core values, your life mission, your life vision, do these practices help you bring that version of yourself out into the world? And how can we integrate more of that so that you can nourish that?
[00:39:30] Ali: Wow! Okay. So I'm just gonna pitch this for people listening, especially if they haven't gone on a retreat, go do this. Do the Crave Retreat with Rocky and his team because not only is my interest peaked where I may join you at some point soon, but that sounds phenomenal. It sounds like what the world needs from my lens, from my perspective. And you had me at antidote for the online world. Dude, that in itself. Oh man, that is so good.
Okay, beautiful. Thank you for that. And then tell us a little bit about the podcast, cuz you dropped a hint around the podcast also being an antidote, which is called _Antidote_, right?
[00:40:13] Rocky: Yeah. Interesting enough. Now that I'm like looking at it in the mirror, was it an antidote for the world or for myself? It's been around for a little over a year now and it's called the Antidote. And it's meant to be that like I want people to be able to tune in at any point of their journey and their day while they're driving at any point and just feel a little healed, feel a little loved up on, feel a little bit better. Like they tuned into something, to make their day better. And so a lot of the times, like I do a handful of interviews. I had you on there recently, I think that's dropping very soon. Mm-hmm. Um, which was super cool.
I've been fortunate enough to podcast with some cool names, like some big fighters like Walt Harris was on there and, uh, Bobby Greed, some, some awesome dudes that, it's a blast to, to connect with. And so conversations are awesome. But it started with that concept in mind of like tuning into love, tuning into light.
I wanted to just come on and share because so often as a coach per what you were just talking about, a good coach shuts up the majority of the time. Mm-hmm. It's just listening and then asking the right question. Meanwhile, better believe that like in my, like somewhere in my head, I'm just like, yep. Yeah, all you need to do is this.
[00:41:36] Ali: Oh, that's so true. Just holding back the prescriptions. I have to interject to support you here. Like just my mind starts firing and I like have all the formulas and now I'm doing my work to just continue holding space and guiding them to it. Because where it's serious is that it is completely different if it comes from you as a projection or prescription versus someone else finding it themselves. Right.
[00:42:03] Rocky: Like a thousand dude. So now that I've got a team of coaches that work with me now and pretty much every team meeting that we have, we carve out and save some space after for just some role playing and learning. Because I mean, we're all gifted in our own ways and every coaching style is different, but I do think that there are some, some truths that um, should be like no matter what, like root principles or something. Yes, exactly. Yeah. Yes. So some values that, that are true no matter what, um, whole fitness coach that you're working with, mm-hmm.
And, and that's one of the biggest things is it's called the writing reflex. Mm-hmm. And one of the biggest shifts that I saw when I exchanged my personal training hat for my life coach hat was, I don't have all the answers, but I bet you do. Mm-hmm. I've got some good questions, that hopefully will lead you to the right answers that are gonna help you.
I did a post not too long ago of like, if I'm doing my job the right way, I'm in the backseat getting no credit because quite literally at the end of a session or like a breakthrough, my client is just like, all right, I figured it out. You know, it's like pat yourself on the back, you fucking crushed it.
And then I just get to turn into a cheerleader like, yeah, you, you've got this. Yes. You know, all right. All that's like, hold accountable to it. And I use the term called soul work that I got from Bethany, because nobody likes homework. But, uh, we'll ground in some type of work following the session to help integrate it, and that's their soul work for the week or for the month or whatever it is.
But even that is very rarely something that I'm prescribing. We've come to the understanding that you need X, Y, Z, whatever it is. And now that we know that, how are we going to integrate that? There's the brainstorming part of a lot of sessions. Like, well, you could do this, you could try this, we could try this.
But then it's just like, okay, which direction does the client want to go? And once they have it, then it's like, okay, well that sounds good. Let's hold you accountable this way. And, and then you, then you have it. Right. But to, to circle back though, a lot of the times, yeah. The, the antidote, if I'm riding solo on an episode, it's usually the theme of something that I really wanted to say recently, mm-hmm, in a session, but just, I couldn't, I couldn't write reflex. Like, it's not my, it's not my job.
[00:44:37] Ali: That's cool. I dig that. Yep. Early on in my podcasting pursuit or adventure I did more solo recordings and similar, I did them where something hit me in life in a meaningful way that felt like doing sort of this audio introspection. And I, I'm realizing and talking to you that I'd like to get back to that. I feel a sense of being a little bit lazy or neglecting that in a way where it was really fun and therapeutic. So, dude, that is cool.
There's one other big topic I wanna talk to you about, make sure we squeeze in within time and that is sort of your experience living off grid in Hawaii. I, I saw you, uh, when we, we connected last virtually there. I would love to see you there in person sometime soon, but tell us a little bit about that specifically, like how that came about. Why it came about. Because it's, I, I think that sort of choosing time away to disconnect off-grid is an intentional thing. And then what it's like maybe some inspiration for people, including myself, that might want to consider that.
[00:45:47] Rocky: A hundred percent bro. I'll give the disclaimer that all the right angels come into our life at just the right time, and none of it would've been possible without my dear friends Tyler and Bethany, who opened up that space for me. It would've sounded like a cool pipe dream had I not known them. But they were doing it. They got the land in 2017 and I was out there often to help on their property and just, just live and just be with the land and be with them. And so I saw how doable it was.
So when they offered it to me, it was like, well, I, I've lived in Hawaii multiple times. I've moved my life out to Oahu a couple times. And obviously Oahu's, uh, it's, it's got its country parts, but for the most part it's the main island. I think like 80% of Hawaii lives on Oahu. Mm-hmm. But Hawaii in general just holds such a, a special place in my heart and it's always kind of felt like home for my soul. So when it was the opportunity to like, okay, come live here in a house that is mine, it took me all of like, I don't know, like 17 seconds to be like, nice. Yeah, let's do it.
I don't really know how or what or why, like, but like, let's do it. It had been in the works as far as, um, logistics and kind of like figuring out timing if I was gonna go with a kit home like they had, or if we were gonna build from scratch and all this, all of that was already in the works pre 2020. And then 2020 hit and then all of a sudden everybody else was, was considering things that they'd never had considered before. So for me, it didn't really affect me. It was kinda like I was already in motion. And now it just seemed like a little less taboo, I guess.
Yeah, right. But, um, in February, 2021, it was like one of the wettest months in history and that was when I was living under two tents waiting for my lumber to become a house. Ah. And just like every night if you had anything that was white, it just became black. Mm. Cause it's like the, the moisture just in the air would just turn everything and like eat it with the, like, the mildew, right? Mm-hmm. And it never dampened my spirits. It was like, I'm right where I need to be. So I kind of like touched on some of the experience of actually going through the build and all the things that we learned along the way.
But now that I'm there and now that I can hop on a plane right now and be back on my porch and doing life the way that I do a lot of the time. It's such a blessing and more than anything now, like I'm very in tune with my body. My nervous system informs me when it's time to go back.
Oh, that's awesome. And, and it's very clear because then when I get back there's usually like a day or two of just decompressing. Getting out of 5g, turning back off, letting my nervous system find the frequency of peace of this place. That was always the, the message of the land since we started was this land is yours to share.
Mm-hmm. That goes back to like the whole community aspect of bring this full circle. In the same way that that was opened up to me, it's the same way I try to live my life with arms open of just like, whatever you need. Whatever you need. You want my shirt? Here. You know, this was gifted to me anyways, you know.
But yeah, dude, that's so much of it now. I consider it home. I consider it a home. 95% of my family is not in Hawaii. Mm-hmm. But there's just so many close connections that it makes it easier. But I also want to be a part of my blood nephews over here in California. I wanna be a part of their lives. I've got a lot of stuff going on over here too, and friends and girlfriends and like, you know, it's like, there's, there's life happening here. So, it's a fun balance now that I get to continue trying to, to figure out. I don't figure too hard.
[00:50:06] Ali: Mmm. That is so cool dude. I love that you listen to your body and like you said, your nervous system kind of tells you, cuz that to me is just natural intuition. You know what else I've been thinking about lately, Rocky is like, I don't think we were designed to sit in one place, so let alone just how we sit and work for hours at a, at a station or a desk.
But then this whole aspect of living in the same home and neighborhood for years and years and years. Like if you go back to our ancestors, they were moving, they were moving and grooving, they were farming, they were trading. Yet the majority of us have learned to become so content with just sitting. And there's nothing wrong with it, but I feel the energy. I feel your aliveness as you're like, yeah, yo, like I'm there sometimes, I'm here sometimes. I wanna be with family. I wanna be with nature. That feels like a pretty holistic lifestyle brother. So the way you're branding things, man, is spot on.
Um, anything left unsaid here before we jump into some fun rapid fire questions?
[00:51:19] Rocky: I think we covered a good amount. Yeah. If anybody wants to come check out the place in Hawaii, I'm sure drop any links to it. You can. Yes. Yeah. And if anything resonates with anybody, like I said, I'm all about community. You can just come as a friend, come as an inquiry. It's open doors, so. Cool. Take care of yourself.
[00:51:42] Ali: Awesome. We'll definitely drop all the links, man. Thank you for, for sharing that, and thank you for just the generosity that, that you're promoting. I do feel lighter, in fact, just talking to you. It, it was a, it was a more active day today, and I'm like, now that we're on and we're talking about this, dude, it's giving me this energy. So thank you for that.
[00:52:03] Rocky: Man. Anytime, dude. Gimme a holler.
[00:52:05] Ali: Fo sho, all right. Few quick questions just to have fun, wrap up. What's the best book you've read lately?
[00:52:12] Rocky: Lately. This is true. Mm-hmm. I've been really into the Reese Witherspoon book club books lately.
[00:52:19] Ali: Nice. I did not expect that.
[00:52:21] Rocky: I know. I haven't had a TV in forever and, um, I don't want to just like mindlessly watch something at the end of the day, mm-hmm. And so sometimes it's just like, get caught in this like, sweet love story or something. It's just like, oh, it's endearing for my heart. So, there's that. Cool. But then, um, on, more of like the, uh, like the self-improvement side of stuff that I'm always in, I'm, I'm like rereading _The More Beautiful World, Our Hearts Know Is Possible._ I'm always reading, um, something from Joe Dispenza. I love his work. Yeah. Uh, I'm currently reading my friend's book. He's been one of my best friends since like fifth grade and, uh, he's authoring some books right now.
So he is asked me to like, proofread some of 'em and Hmm. I'm having a blast cuz I actually like, can pinpoint who's who and the stories. That's cool. Yeah, it's based off of like real life events, so that's pretty bad. Um, so look for his stuff. His name's Nick Violetti.
[00:53:20] Ali: Cool. We will, that's awesome. Wow. Thank you. Okay, so we had, we had a, a few, few nice things. Yeah. Joe Dispenza is awesome, dude. A great thinker, great thinker of our time for sure.
[00:53:32] Rocky: He's an alien bro, like in the best way possible. But like his, his meditations too, man, he'll drop into like different tones and stuff, and you're just like, whoa, I'm being transported into a different dimension, man. And, and that's his goal. I mean, you're like, get you back into the quantum field, you know, and no worries. Rad.
[00:53:52] Ali: I agree, dude. He's powerful. Awesome. Okay. Um, what animal are you most scared of?
[00:53:59] Rocky: Oh, God. Ooh, think about it and get the shivers, uh, crocodiles.
[00:54:05] Ali: Ooh. Yeah. I don't think that's been said yet.
[00:54:09] Rocky: Yeah. I could easily say sharks too, but as a surfer, I, I kind of like, I just rather not acknowledge 'em. They're there and they're there to love up on us only. Mm-hmm. That's that. And that's the story I'm gonna continue to tell myself.
[00:54:24] Ali: So, especially the great whites. Especially the great whites, yeah.
[00:54:27] Rocky: They're the, the best man. Let's, let's not talk about that anymore. Crocodiles are the worst. They're not in my spectrum. I don't hang out with them in like close vicinity so I can maintain my healthy level of fear of them. Mm-hmm. They're just dinosaurs in the modern era, dude. They don't belong here.
Totally. Yeah. That is a, definitely an animal that if I was one-on-one with, I would be pretty fucking scared. There's some animals, I tell myself a story that like I could wrestle like, and this is totally the ego or just me being in denial, but like, I feel like I could wrestle like a leopard and maybe beat it or just get it off me, you know, but like a grizzly or a croc, like a healthy crocodile. I'm not wrestling that like, no getting to it cuz they're fast too. That's what people don't know. Like I know interesting things about animals cuz my kids are young and they're always bringing them up and learning about them on PBS and it's like a, a, a good size crocodile. Like you are not going to get to it without it snapping you.
Right? Absolutely not, dude. And that's like the majority of my feed. My, my girlfriend laughs cuz it's like, she'll, like if I'm looking through my search on Instagram, it's literally grizzly bears and like monkeys and it's like, it's only nature stuff, but like some of the more violent nature stuff like right.
And stuff. You watch some of this stuff and for me, I'm like, I wanna watch it because it's natural, it's nature. That's it. But it's fucking gnarly, man. Some of that stuff, like gators just chomping on a leopard or something, just coming to get some water. It's like mm-hmm. I sent them to my football coach friends and I'm like, teach your lineman how to like get off like this.
And I'm like, holy shit.
[00:56:15] Ali: But dude, for sure, yes, you're right. Nature is brutal. I was, I was just finishing a book, the_ Comfort Crisis_, where he talks about that like a small part of it. Like we've had, we have this fantasy world where Disney makes animals seem so friendly and fun, when in reality it's brutal. So, yeah. No, Crocs man. I feel that.
All right. Last question. How would you spend 10 million bucks if you couldn't use it on yourself or anyone you loved?
[00:56:48] Rocky: Can I say build community?
[00:56:51] Ali: Of course, dude. Create the vision. Tell us.
[00:56:53] Rocky: Cool. Um, I've, I've never had an interest, and maybe this will change someday, but I've never really had an interest in being the, the facility owner. Mm-hmm. So I think that's why I, I really enjoyed the online space is it's, people, it's not about the, the actual space. Mm-hmm. Yeah. But I think if it was like 10 million bucks that I could create some, um, like a very, a very like well-equipped online community where people could just what I'm doing right now, but but much slower than if I had 10 million bucks.
Right, right, right. , yeah. It's, it's kinda like the, uh, the, the Mall of Light workers where people can just gather and get together and heal or be healed and exchange knowledge and wisdom and share and grow. That's what I would do. I'd probably hire you to do it.
[00:57:52] Ali: Thanks man. I appreciate that. But wow.
That is cool, dude. That's a cool use of money that has not been shared, and I could totally see you doing that. It just amplifies where we started just the light that you're bringing so. I hope you do that. Actually, I think you'll do that in some way or form. I don't hope I, I'm, I'm pretty sure you're gonna do that, brother.
[00:58:16] Rocky: Thank you man. Yeah, it's in process brother. Um, but uh, yeah, if, if anybody wants to just donate 10 mil, then speed it up. Stoked. Ali's gonna be stoked. Cuz I don't know if you're, if you're, if you're doing as much development these days, but I'm sure you could handle a project like that and make it off.
[00:58:33] Ali: That would be fun. Yeah, that would definitely be fun, especially to collaborate with you.
[00:58:38] Rocky: Amen. Absolutely.
[00:58:40] Ali: Cool brother, thank you. This was an honor, it was a pleasure. Got to learn a little bit more about you and amplify your voice, so I appreciate the way you show up and I'm excited to do something in person with you, cuz that's, I feel like that's the next evolution of our friendship is for me to get down to Hawaii or to hit up one of your retreats. So that's on my radar now.
[00:59:03] Rocky: A hundred percent man. Yeah, I'll be, I'll be at one of yours too. I'm like, I'm a beach boy but a mountain man. So get back up, up into the mountains sometimes with you and yeah, just let me know dude. I'm all about it.
[00:59:16] Ali: That would be magical. Alright, well I'm gonna use your words to end this and that is to be light.
[00:59:23] Rocky: Be light, brother. Thank you. Thanks for creating the space and we'll talk again soon I'm sure.
[00:59:27] Ali: For sure.
Ali is a creator who's passionate about guiding people to their truth. That's a fancy way of saying he wants to help people realize their most authentic life. He's a father, husband, podcaster, blogger, technologist and many other things that inspire him to stay curious and learn. He's also a huge advocate for nature, hiking, adventure, testing physical limits and experiencing the natural world.